Pet Sitting with the Family

Hi, I was wondering if house sitters could include family? I have two teenagers and didn’t know if they could come and be involved too?

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Hello @SarahBritain and welcome to the community forum. It’s a question that has been asked a few times, and yes, we have families of sitters with children of all ages, including teenagers.

If you use the magnify glass along the top bar and search using the key word ‘family’ you’ll see at least four posts where others have asked your question. I’d suggest you read through those and then, if you don’t find the answers to any particular questions, come back to the forum and add them to your post.

You may want to also go to our Introduce Yourself section and share a little - where you’re from (country & area perhaps), where you’d like to travel, and anything else you’d like to share with our members.

Francine
Volunteer moderator :canada:

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Hi @SarahBritain and welcome. Yes, families can housesit! We are a family of 4 with boys aged 13 and 11 and started housesitting with TrustedHousesitters in 2019.
Teenagers are old enough to help with pet care tasks and more pairs of hands means more dogs can be walked!

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@SarahBritain Hi! We housesit as a family (kids are currently 10 & 8) and have been doing so for years. We have met and recruited many other sitter families within the TH community too! It is incredible for both our kids & the pets we sit to be around each other :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I always encourage new sitter families to highlight their kids’ experience around animals and the ways their kids add benefit to a pet sit. You just have to make sure you are transparent from the beginning that you are sitting as a family. We have had such amazing experiences traveling to pet sit with our kids :heart:

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@Mal Have you found some homeowners more reluctant to welcome children into the equation even with the “family friendly” option? Our daughter is still a baby and we really hope we can get back to sitting/traveling some day soon :pray: just looks like not too many homeowners want young children in their homes…which is totally understandable.

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@Kelly-Moderator We started pet sitting when our youngest was about 5/6, so never during the toddler or baby years (not to say it isn’t possible, just that I do not have direct experience applying for sits with children that young). Personally, we have not encountered any issues with sits that are listed as family friendly with our elementary-aged kids, and often even book or are invited to sits that do not advertise as family friendly - I would say about half of our sits were not listed as “family friendly” initially. Our sitter profile includes lots of photos & reviews of our children’s positive interactions around pets, plus they both grew up caring for rescue animals, so that definitely helps give owners peace of mind.

However, toddlers and babies are a bit different… lots of pets that we sit do not do well with younger kiddos who are at their eye level, move fast, are loud, or are not used to reading animals’ body language & respecting their boundaries (which is pretty typical for a curious, happy, energetic toddler :wink:). I know a lot of those owners would not consider a family with toddlers or infants. I have found it has more to do with a pet’s history than an owner just being against kids in their home.

That being said, there are still sits out there - I know of families who sit with babies/toddlers, it just takes more patience and applications to find the right fit :heart:
As always, I would suggest starting short & local with the option to meet in person beforehand, and then request owners to specifically mention your child’s interactions with their pets as you build up reviews. It’s so worth the effort to travel & sit as a family though!

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I couldn’t agree more @Mal ! The photos you shared on social of Ellie and your family are absolutely adorable! Well done getting your kiddos to be so good at travel, taking care of others pets and property :clap: I am definitely impressed!

I don’t think we’re quite ready to try as a family to petsit/travel but you’re certainly giving me inspiration that it can be done.

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Aww thank you @Kelly-Moderator for your sweet words :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

It can definitely be done!! As soon as you are ready :blush:

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Hi there, I pet sit with my family - partner and two kids.
We always apply for “family friendly” sits.
Our kids are always supervised when we look after dogs and cats & we get our oldest to assist with the pet care tasks.

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Oh my gosh all of these replies per sitting with families I am so super excited and shall get into this as an option for going away next year and to give the children experience of different lives and different animals. We have a dog and cat (which can be looked after while we are away). I used to ride am experienced with an array of livestock currently involved in cattle showing and am looking to get back into riding. So looking after goats, pet pigs (I love pigs) would be no problem. Not allowed to put kisses so kiss kiss kiss

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Hello @SarahBritain and so glad this thread has inspired you to give this a go. I can’t think of a better way to introduce children to the world of pets!! I can’t believe however, you can’t put kisses in your thread and need to check that out if it’s a Discourse restriction. so I’m just testing that here :laughing: xxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

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That is a shame . We are happy to have children in our home . Narrabri NSW Australia.

@Mal Have you found some homeowners more reluctant to welcome children into the equation even with the “family friendly” option? Our daughter is still a baby and we really hope we can get back to sitting/traveling some day soon :pray: just looks like not too many homeowners want young children in their homes…which is totally understandable.

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@SarahBritain Yay! I am so happy for you guys to start :hugs:

Just throwing it out there since you mentioned your pets - we also own 2 dogs & 3 cats (lots of foster fails :see_no_evil: we clearly LOVE animals haha), so we book back to back pet sits to travel around as sitters, and then post the entire trip as an owner listing to have sitters come stay with our own pets while we are gone. We benefit from the site on both ends :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Hi all, I’m new to Trusted Housesitters and have set up my first local sit in Seattle (solo). When traveling I’d likely be with both my husband and 16-year-old daughter or just my daughter. In looking over sit requests I’m seeing a lot of descriptions that imply they want a solo sitter or couple (“sitter will stay in guest room,” for example). I’m curious if I should be looking only for sits that are marked “family friendly”? Or if others have found that for the right family HOs will be flexible? Thanks very much for your insights!

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Hi @emjgee my advice would be to message the HO’s and ask if they would be comfortable with an older “child,” I think you will find that while some homeowners may not have selected “family friendly” they may be comfortable with an older teenager in their home but perhaps not a toddler. I find that it never hurts to ask and sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

best of luck!

Kelly

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HI @emjgee I agree with @Kelly-Moderator that many HOs who might not be comfortable with younger children would be fine with older children or teenagers. I sit with my husband and 2 sons aged 13 and 11, and sometimes just with my sons, and some of the sits we have done had not selected “family friendly”.

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